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Opinions of Sunday, 14 February 2016

Columnist: Daily Guide Network

Feather for the Cops

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The Ghana Police Service rarely attracts plaudits from members of the public. This week though they have received a basketful of compliments.

Their ability, with the assistance of the military, to suppress the unruliness of some Old Tafo Zongo youth in Kumasi is commendable; and following at its heels, the arrest of Daniel Asiedu, the suspected killer of the late Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa North in the Eastern Region, JB Danquah Adu, calls for the popping of champagne to celebrate a job well done.

In the face of the high rating though, they suffered one setback when a cop fired and killed two brothers at Ashanti Mampong. This is threatening their newfound rating.

Be it as it may, we are excited that the importance of public/police cooperation is beginning to dawn on Ghanaians.

We have no reason to doubt the assertion that majority of feats chalked by law enforcement agencies stem from leads they receive from members of the public. Consider the mobile phone repairer and how his sense of responsibility led him to hint the police about the strange hearing device which had been brought to him for decoding.

If all Ghanaians or even majority of them could show such responsibility and cooperation with the police regarding the apprehending of suspected criminals, the rate of crime would witness a downward trend.

. Unfortunately, the unproductive and irresponsible “minding one’s business” attitude has taken hold of many people. Such persons, even when they know there are suspected criminals in their neighbourhoods, would hardly hint the police.

It is our hope that with the unfolding trends which have led to the law enforcement agents making major breakthroughs in nabbing wanted persons, a new dawn is being witnessed.

The police, especially the Greater Accra Regional Command, has adopted a new template in policing which is endearing the unit to the public to the extent that members of the public have found in it a friendly posture devoid of the ‘hard face’ posture by some cops. Such an attitude would turn informants away and the police and the country would be the losers because important information that could lead to the arrest of suspects would just disappear.

We have observed how the Greater Accra Regional Commander, COP Dr Akuffo Dampare, is leading a reach-out programme to the public with a smiling face – a template which we are recommending to other regional commanders and the Service as a whole to adopt.

It is not enough to claim the police are friends: it takes the extra mile of reaching out and winning the confidence of the public to make good this claim.

We are unable to resist the urge to salute the police nonetheless for the feat of arresting some suspects in the murder of the late Abuakwa North MP.

We also do same for the Ashanti Regional Command and officers and men of 4 BN in Kumasi for their swiftness in quelling the unnecessary riots by the Zongo youth and the natives in Old Tafo. Had they failed to achieve this feat, the fallouts could have only been imagined.

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